Trump Tower flat owner fined for listing home on Airbnb


Two women in New York City have been fined $1,000 (£772) for advertising their apartments on holiday lets website Airbnb.

Yelena Yelagina, who was listing a flat in Trump Tower, had to pay the fine as the US city has banned the advertising of properties for short-term lets, the New York Daily News reported.

The apartment came to the attention of authorities after the New York Times tried to book it following Donald Trump’s presidential election victory.

Jennifer Livingston was fined after she put her local authority-subsidised flat on the site for $446 (£344) a night, the New York Daily News said.

Last year, city authorities made it illegal to advertise the rental of units in a building for less than 30 days if the tenant or owner is not there.

They had already had passed a law banning the renting out of empty units for less than 30 days.

The law was brought in amid concerns the increase in Airbnb rentals was affecting the housing market.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is interviewed at Westminster on October 25, 2016 in London, England  Trump Tower flat owner fined for listing home on Airbnb 05579950e10adc868b299bb1839f5b6a1ece8fd0a7f5add7ba913a35734b87c7 3841484
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said a similar law could be needed in London

In November, London mayor Sadiq Khan said similar legislation may be required to ensure Airbnb does not contribute to a housing crisis in the capital.

Livingston’s flat came to the attention of city authorities after a neighbour complained about loud noise and excessive parties, according to New York Daily News.

“The state law prohibiting illegal rental ads is helping us stop those who turn homes into hotels,” City Hall spokeswoman Melissa Grace told the paper.

“The city has started receiving payments of these fines – including by a homeowner in Trump Tower and a Lower East Side resident who frequently rented out a home specifically reserved as affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers.”

Anyone convicted for listing their property on Airbnb for a second time faces a fine of $5,000 (£3,862), with a $7,500 (£5,795) fine for a third offence.

The law has prevented Airbnb from filing an initial public offering on the stock market, which valued it at $31bn (£23.9bn).

An Airbnb spokesperson said the legislation does not distinguish between New Yorkers who occasionally share their home and illegal hoteliers.

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